The road to nowhere
Bill Steigerwald blasts Pennsylvania's management of its transportation systems, from roads to buses to taxis. I know from working with Bill, who is a friend, that he and I disagree over the value and necessity of public transportation--I think it is an important service, while he would prefer a return to privately run transit systems--but he gets a lot of things right in this well-written rant:
Our government-regulated taxi "market" is monopolized by a company that has been charging high fares, providing lousy service and discriminating against poor and blacks since the 1930s. Our beloved $1 billion-plus county-built airport, designed for one doomed tenant to monopolize, turned out to be too big.
Meanwhile, our government highway professionals have not merely made us world-renowned for potholes and lousy roads. They've given us no beltway around Pittsburgh, but we have an interstate cutting through Downtown.
We've got new tollways to the boondocks like Route 60. But we're still stuck with two-lane parkways and Route 28 jam-ups and bad signage and fewer synchronized traffic lights than Baghdad.
We've been victimized for generations by federal, state and local governments and their transportation gurus. Their mismanagement has probably done more long-term damage to the region's economic health than the collapse of the steel industry.